NovaChem > Industry News > 2022 > Spring weed control keeps pastures healthy and productive

Spring weed control keeps pastures healthy and productive

Published on 27/07/2022

WORDS: Nufarm

As soon as the days start getting longer and warmer, however, daily spring pasture growth rates will take off .
And many production-limiting broadleaf
weeds thrive just as much – if not more – in these conditions. So it’s always a good idea to have a chat with customers about what is actually growing in their established pastures before spring really gets going.

Are their paddocks full of high quality, cost-
effective, home-grown ryegrass and clover? Or do they contain less desirable species, like dock, ragwort, thistles or pennyroyal?

A well-timed spring herbicide programme
will not only enhance their pasture DM yield this season, but will also help lengthen the life of existing pastures by removing competition for light, water and nutrients.

One of the most common mistakes made
with spring weed control is spraying too late. Just because weeds aren’t immediately obvious in the pasture, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Spring germinating weeds can be present
under the pasture cover as seedlings and small plants. After the pasture is grazed, they are exposed to sunlight and are likely to then develop to the point where they will severely limit pasture production.

If left until they mature and flower, in most
cases it’s too late. They will be very difficult if not impossible to kill.

The three pillars of good spring weed control

- Start looking for spring weeds early, i.e.

Identify the full range of weeds that need to be controlled. 

Select the right product for the job. 

Proven herbicide options for this use include
Baton 800WSG, Sprinter 700DS and Valdo 800WG. They are specifically designed to kill broadleaf weeds while the plants are still small.

Baton and Sprinter (Group 4) are selective
phenoxy herbicides that control many broadleaf weeds, including ragwort, thistles, pennyroyal and wild carrot in pasture, without tmajor damage to clover.

Depending on the weed species present,
Baton or Sprinter can be tank mixed with Valdo (Group 2). This clover friendly flumetsulam herbicide is particularly useful for improving control of buttercups and brassica weeds such as creeping yellow cress, hedge mustard and wild turnip.

Dockstar (Group 18) is another useful op
tion, where docks are the main challenge.  However, in many cases farmers want to eliminate other broadleaf weeds along with dock, in which case another solution is available.

This is a tank mix using a lower rate of Dock
star (2 litres/ha) with either Baton at 2 kg/ha or Sprinter at 2.3 litres/ha. This combination will provide good control of dock and other broadleaf weeds with less pasture suppression than Dockstar alone at the full label rate.

For best results with the Dockstar/Baton
or Sprinter tank mix, leave pasture for two-three weeks after grazing before spraying; apply in early spring before dock seed heads start to form; do not add any adjuvants or other products; and leave the pasture for at least one-two weeks after spraying before grazing.

For more detail contact your Nufarm territory manager.

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